THE family of a talented young footballer seriously injured in a car crash are preparing him for life in his own home.
Jack Farrugia has been awarded an interim £900,000 in compensation to help him buy a home near his family in Portsmouth.
It must be big enough to house him, his mother Lorraine and a team of nurses who will provide round-the-clock care.
This will mean he can finally leave his rehabilitation hospital in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Speaking to The News, Jack’s 47-year-old father Laurence, said: ‘The money we’ve received means we’ve been able to start looking for a house for Jack.
‘We want him to have as normal a life as possible.
‘We’re still a long way off yet, we think it will happen in about a year, but the money has to pay for the whole place to be specially adapted for him and the carers.’
Jack, a former captain of the Havant and Waterlooville FC Academy, suffered severe head injuries and was paralysed when the car he was in crashed into a parked van in Tangier Road, Portsmouth, in November 2008.
The driver, Steven Burtenshaw, 20, admitted careless driving and was given a 12-month ban and a £200 fine.
Jack has already won the right to potentially millions of pounds in compensation from Mr Burtenshaw.
But a High Court insurance battle has now begun over who is liable to pay for the 19-year-old’s care.
The court heard how Burtenshaw’s grandfather, Richard Burtenshaw, who is registered blind, was named as the ‘main driver’.
But lawyers claim it was a sham and that insurance was taken out in Mr Burtenshaw’s blind grandfather’s name to get a cheaper premium.
But, denying the accusation, the family say the grandfather had bought the car from his grandson and simply allowed him to use it as an additional ‘named driver’.
The court battle will decide whether Quinn Insurance Ltd, which had insured the grandson before he passed his driving test, or the insurance industry body, the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB), has to pay the teenager damages.
Quinn Insurance, which paid out the interim £900,000 to Jack, say the claimed sale to the grandfather brought an end to any obligations it had under the policy and it is not liable to pay any of the damages.
But MIB’s barrister Stephen Worthington told the court the ‘sale’ was a ‘complete sham’, which had been concocted after the accident.
Mr Worthington QC said: ‘This is a classic case of fronting, where a parent or other older adult pretends to be the owner or main driver of a vehicle on which a teenager is a named driver in order to pay a lower premium, when the reality is that it is really the teenager’s car.’